Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back James Conner won’t likely have great memories about his first week of NFL OTA practices as the local product reportedly had to serve as an observer, instead of a participant, for most of the three-day session.
According to Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Conner, the Steelers second of two third-round draft picks this year, was bystander for most of the team’s three OTA practices this week due to a left hamstring injury.
James Conner was bystander for most of 3rd straight OTA session. Said he has left hamstring "tweak." When will he return? "I wish I knew."
— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) May 25, 2017
The “tweak”, as Conner describes it, might sideline the Pittsburgh product some moving forward as he’s currently unsure when he’ll be able to resume practicing fully.
While Conner rehabs his hamstring injury, he’ll likely be forced to take mental reps on the side while continuing to learn the Steelers offense on his own and in team meetings.
A few days ago, Conner celebrated being cancer free for one year with the following Twitter message:
Conner was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December of 2015. After a 6-month battle with the disease that included several rounds of chemotherapy, Conner returned to have a very productive 2016 season for the University of Pittsburgh that included him rushing for 1,092 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Proper conditioning at the NFL level, and especially early on in the offseason, is always something that rookies have to quickly become accustomed to. This is not to say that Conner wasn’t properly conditioned as his hamstring injury could be a result of something else. These things happen from time to time with rookies as well as with veteran players and we can only hope that the young running back is able to get himself back on the field at some point during the Steelers remaining OTA practices.